In a letter I wrote to friends in July 2005, I summed up my experiences and what I’d learned from my encounter with the sidewalk:

I’m in the home stretch but there are more humps to overcome. My creativity and determination have been challenged. I had to learn new ways of getting up and down from chairs, couches, etc. I pushed off with my left hand, which still worked, and my right elbow (a great pivot without a cast), and my left leg has proven to be incredibly strong. To seat myself, I’ve become practiced in a semi-graceful pirouette with the right foot as my casted leg slides out and my butt lands.

My body has adjusted somewhat. Thank God for stomach muscles because the strain has been on the left lower back. My left hand has been good for all sorts of things (some of them you will just have to imagine). But the right hand, in a shorter cast, is able to perform some duties—even cutting, if I do it carefully. Ordinary bathing is out of the question—bless Baby Wipes. Bless electric toothbrushes, slip-on sandals, bras that slip over your head, knit tops and pants with elastic that have large legs to accommodate the cast. Bless my limber body—I can easily reach my toes, although baby-wiping the right foot takes extra oomph. I can lasso my right foot with my undies or pants and then worry about the left leg. Thank you, Modern Science, for TV dinners and convenience foods, even ice cream that comes in little packages—all those things your right hand normally accomplishes.

It’s all taking longer than I figured, but I’ll be out and about by mid-August.

On the positive side, I’ve got a shorter, lighter cast on my leg, which doesn’t ride down and give me heel blisters. I’m getting quite handy maneuvering around and have figured out how to use the crutch as a footrest in a restaurant or waiting at the hospital. I got a sexy new cast for my wrist – it’s dark blue with white trim (the latest fashion!) and goes from below the knuckles to about halfway up the arm (stopping well short of the elbow). I’m typing this letter quite well—even using capitals!

Bless morning TV shows, interesting books, Oprah or Ellen de Generes, movies on TV, good classical music and CDs, and of course, my computer. Not to mention the telephone with handy earplugs to save holding the phone. Sometimes it’s a challenge to keep from getting bored. Luckily there are some precious toddlers in my building and I enjoy watching them.

I miss driving a car, having an interesting editing project to do, swimming and walking easily, but am thankful for all the support and encouraging good wishes from friends. In conclusion:  THIS TOO SHALL PASS!

It did pass, even though I had another operation, another short stay in the hospital and follow-up visits with another cast. In August, six years ago, the orthopedic challenges were over, and I drove myself for a visit to physical therapy. It was wonderful to be finished with it all. Today my wrist works fine although it wouldn’t win any beauty prizes. I also notice that my hands aren’t as strong and sometimes forget when I’m holding something, and it drops. It’s almost as if I have to say, “Hand, pay attention…hold on.”

My legs work but they aren’t as strong as I’d like. One could say that I’m still a “work in progress.” But aren’t we all!  

Who I am, in spirit at least!



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